Health professionals chair Go Red for Women Empowered Summit

Sara Rindenello
Victoria Hostig

They are both in their 30s, investing in their careers and in their families – something they see as typical of women their age. They also agree that women’s heart health is often overlooked in the day-to-day lives of the “everywoman” whom they represent. In these days of COVID-19, the need for good health has become even more important, they say.

Sara Rindenello, communications manager, community development, at Albany Med, and Victoria Hostig, director, community relations and executive director, CDPHP The Foundation, CDPHP, are co-chairing the 2020 Capital Region Go Red for Women Empowered Summit set for Tuesday, Nov. 10 and Thursday, Nov. 12, from noon to 12:45 p.m. each day. Their goal is to encourage women to invest in their own health.

“Victoria and I both work in health care and recognize how important it is for women to take care of themselves,” Rindenello said. “We know from experience that women regularly sacrifice self-care because they are too busy caring for everyone else in their lives. Too often, if they feel any symptom out of the ordinary, they write it off because it is simply not a priority. The Go Red for Women movement is helping to change that. Women need to take their health seriously.”

“Today, we tend to have our families later,” Hostig said. “We’re in our mid-to-late 30s when we have our families, and by then, we have careers that we’ve been working on longer than if we’d started our families at a younger age. So, there we are with young families and a busy career. Also, people don’t always live near their families, so there’s less support. By the nature of that, it feels like there’s no time to make yourself a priority, and if you do, you’re seen as selfish.”

COVID-19 plays an unexpected role in women’s lives, Hostig said.

“Unfortunately, the pandemic and current recession have only compounded problems for everyone,” she said. “The fear, social isolation, lifestyle changes, and financial stress has exacerbated health concerns across the board. It is more important than ever to put our physical and mental health first.”

Both women are on a mission to change that, and their primary message is that women should take the time to take care of themselves.

“I was raised that if you give all of yourself to your spouse, your family and career, and there’s nothing left, that was a successful day,” Hostig said. “That’s the opposite of what I’m trying to teach my girls.”

Hostig’ s daughters, Eleanor, Charlotte and Amelia, are 12, 9, and 4 months old.

Rindenello and her husband Paul have a son, Carlo, 2.

Rindenello and Hostig have both experienced heart disease in their families. Hostig’ s grandparents had heart disease, and Rindenello watched her grandmother have a stroke. Both have been active with the American Heart Association for a number of years and have served on the Go Red for Women committee. Albany Med and the American Heart Association work together to improve the health of Capital Region residents in a special “Life is Why” collaboration. CDPHP is a longtime sponsor of the American Heart Association. Dr. John D. Bennett, president and CEO of CDPHP, and a cardiologist, will chair the 2021 Capital Region Heart Walk and Run.

Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s movement to end heart disease and stroke in women.

“One of our goals at the Summit is to have women walk away knowing something they didn’t when they turned their computers on that day, even just one small change that could have a big impact on their life,” Hostig said.

“We really want women to leave with information and stress-reduction strategies that they can apply to their own lives,” Rindenello said. “Our passion speaker, Eliz Green, will share her incredible story about how heart disease has affected her life and influenced her to help other women make changes in their lives to lead, perform and feel better. Dr. Suzie Mookherjee of Albany Med and Dr. Disha Mookherjee of Saratoga Hospital – sisters who are also cardiologists – will also provide great insight with their talk about living an authentic, heart-centered life.”

“We also want to thank all the sponsors and the committee that is working with us,” Hostig said. “We’re really going to change the statistic that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women.”

Hostig grew up in Greenwich, CT., and graduated from Russell Sage College and Sage Graduate Schools. Before joining CDPHP, she worked at Bouchey Financial Group and Bouchey and Clark Benefits.

Rindenello was born in Maryland and lived in Hawaii before spending most of her childhood in Clifton Park. She is a University at Albany graduate and has been employed at Albany Med since 2009.

“We’re honored that Sara and Victoria are carrying the message of heart health to the age group of women who could far too easily lose sight of the importance of taking care of themselves, especially as they add COVID to the balancing act of careers and family,” said Jennifer Corcoran Conway, chair of the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association and partner at Tully Rinckey LLC. “The work of the American Heart Association will benefit them and their peers, and the funds we raise will help the American Heart Association keep investing in women of all ages.”

Rindenello and Hostig are joined by The Go Red for Women Executive Leadership Team,  Andrea Crisafulli, Michele Kollmer, Kathy Lanni and Kathleen Pingelski; and the Go Red for Women committee, Julie Bushart, Joan Clifford, Maria Decker, Melissa Fiorenza, Nicole Hart, Joy Lucas, DVM, Jenifer Martin, Erin Napoleone, Hope Plavin, Jacqueline Scheffer, Christianne Smith, Sarah Trela, Nicolette Viscusi, Jaime Watson, Chyresse Wells and Jenniffer Wright.